Film reviews and more

Month: April 2010


Theatrical Releases: ‘I Am Love’

The opening scene of Guadagnino’s I Am Love (2009) throws the doors wide open onto the lavish lifestyle of an upper class Italian family, the Recchi’s, great industrialists who have accrued a vast fortune through their textile empire. As the city of Milan is entrapped in a wintry chill, the Recchi’s enjoy the […]


Udine Far East Film Festival 2010: Udine at a Glance

As the 12th Udine Far East Film Festival progresses into its eighth day, the selection of films is still impressing audiences with its quality. The broad range of countries and genres presents an invaluable opportunity to compare stereotypes and traditional storylines, as well as to observe audience turn-out and reaction, shaping the understanding of the […]


Theatrical Releases: ‘The Ghost’

To say Roman Polanski has suffered some bad press lately would be an understatement. The 76-year-old is detained in Switzerland, waiting to hear if he’ll be extradited to the United States to stand trial for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Love or hate his ‘justice-dodging’ ways, Polanski has undoubtedly […]


Udine Far East Film Festival 2010: ‘Gallants’

★★★★☆ At the beginning of Gallants (2009) the opening narrator introduces the audience to the film’s protagonist Cheung (Yau-Nam Wong ), an awkward nerd of Napoleon Dynamite (2004) proportions. He dreams of becoming a Kung-Fu fighter, but now that his youthful bullying days are behind him he is forced to take abuse rather than dispense it […]


Udine Far East Film Festival 2010: ‘Nudes! Guns! Ghosts!’ – The films of Shintoho

This year, the 12th instalment of the Udine Far East Film Festival is to screen a retrospective set of films produced by Japanese film studio Shintoho from the late 1950’s to the early 1960’s, including Shimura Toshio’s Revenge of the Pearl Queen (1956) and The Horizon Glitters (1961) by Doi Michiyoshi.Shintoho was started in 1947 by employees of the Tokyo-based Toho […]

#Lucy Popescu #Reviews

DVD Review ‘An Education’

★★★★☆ An Education (2009) is based on the memoir of British journalist Lynn Barber. In the early 1960s, aged sixteen, she was swept off her feet by the attentions of an older man. Fortunately, she discovered in time that he was living a lie and managed to extricate herself with no other damage […]


DVD Review: ‘We Live in Public’

★★★★☆ If you haven’t heard of Josh Harris before, perhaps it’s time to rectify that. The timely release of Dig! (2004) director Ondi Timoner’s new documentary, We Live in Public reminisces on the last 40 years since the dawn of the internet, specifically tracking the arguably destructive path of Harris, one of the masterminds […]


DVD Review: ‘Avatar’

★★★★☆ For those who caught James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) during the film’s cinematic release, this was most likely the first thought to have entered your warped minds as you left the local multiplex/IMAX. Now released for the small screen on 2D formats DVD and Blu-ray, the world of Pandora is still unlike anything you will have seen before. Pandora’s exotic flora […]


Special Feature: Dazed and Confused

‘Generation Y’, filled to the brim with jobless university graduates and unemployed professionals are currently facing a very thinly-spread job market. According to the world’s media, what seemed like a very promising generation is now on the verge of becoming ‘lost’. Is it out of our hands? Maybe so, but a dip into […]


Udine 2010: ‘Sophie’s Revenge’ review

★★★★☆ Conforming to the usual fun-filled predictability of the romantic-comedy genre, as well as the big budget aesthetics and laugh out loud humour associated with lead actress/director Eva Jin, Sophie’s Revenge (2009) shows us that whatever Hollywood can do Asian Cinema can more than match. Whether you consider this ethos as positive or negative will […]


Special Feature: South Korean cinema

Much like the Silk Road that twists its ancient path through vast continents and difficult terrains, South Korea’s cinematic trade has battled against harsh adversities since the division of Korea. Born amidst an ongoing political antithesis between the Communist North state and the Capitalist South and in the aftermath of the both the […]


Theatrical Releases: ‘Date Night’

Date Night (2010), starring US comedy heavy weights Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Steve Carell (The American Office), is the latest comic offering from Night at the Museum (2006) director Shawn Levy. Taking a break from the ‘family-fun’ franchise Levy takes the helm on this comedy of errors (or rather of mistaken identity) set in […]


Theatrical Releases: ‘Repo Men’

The title Repo Men brings Darren Lynn Bousman’s Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) to mind and indeed the two films share some significant similarities. Both take place in a not too distant future, where organs are sold on credit and repossessed if the patent falls behind on his payments; both boast significantly visceral scenes of […]


Special Feature: Middle East meets West

There are many things that the United Arab Emirates is famous for. Recent financial meltdown aside, the UAE is home to the world’s tallest building, gargantuan man-made islands and many a finely-tuned supercar. But few have pegged the UAE as the owner of an up-and-coming, burgeoning movie industry. On the few occasions that […]


DVD Review: ‘Dorian Gray’

★★★☆☆ Based on the influential novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by visionary writer Oscar Wilde, Oliver Parker’s take on the Gothic classic interestingly focuses on the idea of celebrity rather than the generic horror you would expect. If you anticipate a straight page-for-page adaptation, or an expansion of the Gray we see featured […]


Film Review: Kakera: A Piece of Our Life

 ★★★★☆ There are films you love, films you hate and films that, quite frankly, leave you more perplexed than George W. Bush with a bumper book of Sudoku. Kakera – A Piece of Our Life (2009) is likely to fall into that latter category for many people, as Momoko Ando’s directorial debut is […]